Louisivlle's Rick Pitino is one of ten semifinalists for the Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year award. Minnesota's Richard Pitino is not – and that's a shame.
The younger Pitino's absence sticks out like a sore thumb for a number of reasons, the least being the inclusion of Northwestern head coach Chris Collins. Northwestern trails the Gophers in the Big Ten and lost to Minnesota. Collins deserves a spot because he's about to lead Northwestern to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, but Collins on and Pitino off just doesn't add up.
Pitino has literally reversed Minnesota's record from 8-23 last season to 23-7 this season. They went 2-16 in the Big Ten a year ago and are now a win over Wisconsin on Sunday from finishing second in the conference with a 12-6 record.
Minnesota's 15-win turnaround is tied for the biggest single-season improvement in Big Ten history.
That's not Naismith worthy?
The Gophers have the same record as Louisville, doing so despite Rick Pitino using players who were parts of the No. 13 recruiting class in 2015 and the No. 4 class in 2014, according to ESPN. Richard out-recruited his old man last year (Gophers had No. 34 recruiting class compared to Louisville's No. 36), but the previous two classes weren't highly rated.
It's a shame Pitino's name isn't on this list and it'll look really dumb if Minnesota goes on to win the Big Ten Tournament and do damage in the NCAA tourney.